In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Jean Prince Shepard, 99

Jean Price Shepard, 1921-2021

Jean Price Shepard, 1921-2021

Jean Prince Shepard, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among East Asian Affinity Peoples in Japan, died Apr. 1, 2021. She was 99.

Shepard was born on Nov. 14, 1921, in Chicago, Illinois, to the late Grover and Evelyn Kane Prince. She attended Ouachita Baptist University and graduated in June 1948 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. She earned a second degree in 1979 from Baylor University School of Music.

She married John W. Shepard Jr. on June 9, 1948, at First Baptist Church in Camden, Arkansas. The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed them as missionaries to East Asia in 1948. In preparation, they began their married life by studying Chinese at Yale University. After where they served  was closed to missionaries, they were reassigned to Japan, where they arrived in 1950.

After studying Japanese in Tokyo, the Shepards taught at Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka, Japan. Jean taught courses in church music and worship at Seinan Seminary and taught piano and organ to seminary students. The Shepards worked in Japanese churches, helping to establish Meinohama Baptist Church in Fukuoka.

After 34 years as missionaries, they retired and moved to Waco in 1983.

Shepard was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, John, and one daughter, Mary Carolyn Shepard. She is survived by her children: John W. Shepard III of Waco; Margaret S. Thomson (Basil) of Waco; Douglas K. Shepard (Lori) of Austin, Texas; and Alan T. Shepard of Norman, Oklahoma. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held April 10, 2021, at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, Waco.

Read an obituary here.